clam·​shell | \ ˈklam-ˌshel How to pronounce clamshell (audio) \

Definition of clamshell

1 : the shell of a clam
2a : a bucket or grapple (as on a dredge) having two hinged jaws
b : an excavating machine having a clamshell
c : either of a pair of doors (as in an airplane tail) that open out and away from each other
d : a hinged container, case, or cover that opens like the shell of a clam

Examples of clamshell in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Trying to cut a bone, snip herbs, or open a clamshell package with your sewing scissors will quickly dull the blades. Patricia S York, Southern Living, "Amazon Shoppers Call These Best-Selling Shears a Must-Have for Any Kitchen," 7 Feb. 2021 The sandwich at hand was pedestrian: vegan bologna, power-washed greens from a plastic clamshell, a slice of purple onion and Dijon mustard. New York Times, "My Search for Lost Time in a Slice of Jewish Rye," 19 Jan. 2021 Last year, Samsung and Motorola made clamshell-shaped flip phones that opened up to look like normal smartphones. Julian Chokkattu, Wired, "The Future of Phone Design: Flexible Screens That Roll Up," 13 Jan. 2021 For one thing, each cardboard to-go clamshell costs 7 cents. Nora Mishanec,, "Christmas in the Bay Area felt different this year, but the pandemic couldn’t dampen all cheer and charity," 25 Dec. 2020 Tables tend to be custom pieces: A round dining table with its clamshell top and hammered gold leaf base, and a white-washed cypress coffee table by Kathy Slater. R. Stephanie Bruno,, "It took a lot of searching, but Old Metairie home offers couple 'everything we wanted'," 17 Dec. 2020 Who would want to live inside a clamshell, in that cold, pungent fluid, next to that pink blob of a clam? Joan Acocella, The New Yorker, "The Italian Genius Who Mixed Marxism and Children’s Literature," 7 Dec. 2020 The only unusual thing about this scene is that the musicians — members of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra — are performing inside a 16-foot box truck with clamshell-style doors along one side that open wide to reveal a mobile stage. Tim Diovanni, Dallas News, "The Dallas Symphony teams up with the Concert Truck to take holiday cheer on the road in D-FW," 4 Dec. 2020 More takeout clamshell boxes than ever will be in use — in fact, takeout will be the only way to dig in. Steve Rubenstein,, "‘Unlike anything we’ve ever seen’: Bay Area charities brace for a pandemic Thanksgiving," 14 Nov. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'clamshell.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of clamshell

circa 1520, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of clamshell was circa 1520

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Last Updated

25 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Clamshell.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Mar. 2021.

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